Left: The Bartlett Pear Inn; The Frederick Douglass statue.
The Talbot County seat has a rich tradition going back to the 1600s, when European settlers established tobacco plantations along rivers and streams. The area is also the birthplace of Civil War-era orator, writer and social reformer Frederick Douglass; a statue stands outside the county courthouse on Washington Street.
Stop at the visitors’ center on South Harrison Street to obtain guides for exploring several walkable blocks. Visit www.discovereaston.com and www.town-eastonmd.com.
Two of the year’s biggest events are the Plein Air Easton painting competition and sale in July and the Waterfowl Festival in November. Academy Art Museum offers top-notch art exhibits, not to mention a Picasso. Completed in 1684, Third Haven Meeting House is considered the oldest surviving Quaker meetinghouse and reportedly the oldest frame building of any kind continuously used in the United States.
The historic Avalon Theatre is a restored art-deco venue that hosts national and international musical acts and locally produced plays. Across from the Avalon is the Tidewater Inn. Its rooms and restaurant, the Hunters’ Tavern, are bright and elegant. Other nearby fine-dining options include Mason’s (with its chocolate bar), the Bartlett Pear Inn, Scossa, Out of the Fire, The Peacock Restaurant & Lounge and Brasserie Brightwell.
The Amish Country Farmers Market is open Thursday-Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. (breakfast bar at 8 a.m.). The bakery’s dinner rolls are so soft and buttery, they won’t last the ride home.
If you’re making the rounds among the many galleries, gift shops and boutiques, be sure to check out Vintage Books and Fine Art. Another special choice for fun gifts and décor is Moonvine, where a handcrafted mermaid doll greets visitors. A block away is the year-round Easton Market Square, where vendors sell everything from antiques and flowers to cooked meats and fresh produce.